Elaine Marley–Threepwood was the Governor of the Tri-Island Area. Her gubernatorial powers covered Mêlée Island, Booty Island and Plunder Island though she had some influence in a number of other locations too.
She was an able sailor and a captain of her own ship and crew. She was a resourceful and intelligent woman. She became the object of obsession by the zombie pirate LeChuck, which led her into situations where she fell into becoming the damsel in distress. More often than not however, she was perfectly capable of escaping and handling herself. In combat, she was an accomplished swordswoman and could throw a rather dangerous punch.
She was the favourite relative of her grandfather Horatio Torquemada Marley, who named his ship The Elaine after her. She was likely the only person whom he confided to regarding the truth behind Dinky Island and Big Whoop.
She later married her longtime romantic interest, the legendary pirate Guybrush Threepwood. Following the events of Escape from Monkey Island, she handed her gubernatorial duties back to her estranged grandfather.
Elaine was a young beautiful woman with long wavy red hair.
Guybrush also described her as having 'inordinately strong thighs'.
Elaine Marley spent many of her years in her mansion on Mêlée Island. When she inherited the title of Governor unchallenged she continued to live there and lead the people.
Her beloved grandfather was lost to her at a young age when he was assumed killed in a boat race off the coast of Australia.
Year after year passed and no one came forward to oppose her in elections. They would always take place with her as the sole candidate. The island population were happy with this.
She became the object of affection for a dangerous pirate named LeChuck who after being invited to a dinner at her mansion, (presumably among a number of important people) fell in love with her and asked for her hand in marriage. She reportedly responded to his advances with the answer "Drop dead".
LeChuck announced that he was to prove his love to Elaine by discovering Monkey Island and its fabled secret. When he left, the news got back to Mêlée Island saying that he had been killed in a storm.
Elaine herself announced that she would never court a pirate. Part of her reason was that she did not wish any more foolish suitors to follow in LeChucks footsteps on her account. She told people however, that the reason was that she had promised her father that she would never fall in love with a pirate.
Meeting Threepwood and being Kidnapped
During an election season, a young man by the name of Guybrush Threepwood washed up on the shores of Mêlée Island. He had a dream of becoming a pirate and set about discovering how he could do so. He learned from some pirate leaders that there were Three Trials required to pass before anyone could call themselves a pirate. One of which was to master the art of thievery. Threepwood was tasked in stealing the Idol of Many Hands from Governor Marleys Mansion
Elaine's first encounter with Guybrush was when he entered her mansion. He was caught red-handed attempting to steal the idol by Sheriff Fester Shinetop before she arrived and stopped their fight. She sent Shinetop away and spoke to Threepwood alone. She told him she had wished to meet him since hearing his "fascinating name", and was rather impressed that he was the first to actually get the idol. However, Threepwood, having little to no experience with women, is too awestruck by Elaine's beauty and is only capable of speaking unintelligible noises. She was disappointed with his responses but allowed him to take the idol to the pirate leaders to prove he had done what he came to do.
This did not, however, prevent her from rushing to his assistance upon hearing the news that the Shinetop had attempted to drown him. Though she was too late to help him, she arrived as he saved himself. They spoke and she confessed her feelings to Guybrush; resulting in reciprocation from Guybrush who was then able to find words to say to her. She told Threepwood about her past with LeChuck and how she had promised never to get romantically involved with a pirate, but implored Guybrush to finish his pirate trials before they went any further with their new-found love. Threepwood continued his trials with a new motivation pushing him on to complete them as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, when he was ready to report to the pirate leaders that his last trial was complete, Marley was kidnapped by a very jealous LeChuck and shipped away to his hideout on Monkey Island. After he was informed of the news by the island Lookout, Threepwood banded together a ship and a crew in order to mount a rescue attempt.
During the time spent beneath Monkey Island, Elaine was held prisoner in LeChucks brig unaware that Threepwood or anybody had come after her. His efforts were in vain however as Elaine met some of her former friends among the ghost crew, before they had been killed by him; with their help, she managed to concoct her own escape plan and means to destroy LeChuck.
Threepwood was unable to save Elaine before LeChuck's ship left Monkey Island and made port back at Mêlée Island where he intended to marry her. Having been informed of this turn of events by LeChucks first mate Bob, he decided to go after her once again and gatecrash the wedding.
Threepwood arrived at the church just as the ceremony was underway. He shouted a stop to the proceedings and confronted LeChuck with his Ghost Zapping Formula. He attempted to use it and destroy LeChuck, but the spraying pump jammed. At this point Elaine rappelled into the room revealing that she had been perfectly safe for the entire time and now Threepwood was ruining her plan. She had disguised two monkeys in a wedding dress as a decoy and had found a way to brew her own ghost zapping potion which she had given to the monkeys for safe keeping.
When Threepwood attempted to retrieve the second potion from the monkeys, he scared them away forcing Elaine to chase after them in order to get it back.
Unarmed, Threepwood was left at the mercy of an enraged LeChuck who began beating him all over the island. Elaine managed to catch up with Guybrush once he had found a way to destroy the ghost pirate. Together they stood in the starlight and watched as his spirit form exploded against the night sky.
The Quest for Big Whoop
Some time after the defeat of the Ghost Pirate LeChuck, Elaine ended the blossoming relationship with Guybrush. She saw him as a bumbling fool who cared too much about his life of piracy and not enough about things that really mattered. Her life next to Guybrush was so traumatic that she wrote a book about it; it also seems that she wrote several romances under the pseudonym Melanie Leary (which is an anagram of "Elaine Marley"). Leary is the most prolific author among the books of the Phatt City Library with 8 books. All the titles of her romances are bitter and follow an alliterative formula after Shakespeare's "Love's Labour Lost". Guybrush, who checked them, found them distasteful.
She moved to her governor's mansion on Booty Island and continued with her gubernatorial duties from there, though relinquishing her duties on Mêlée for a time, not leaving a forwarding address in case Threepwood attempted to contact her. During that time she also took ownership of a dog and named it Guybrush Jr. after Threepwood due to its being good at sniffing out her possessions and useful for little else.
A year after LeChuck was destroyed, Threepwood came to her mansion in search of a map piece to the fabled treasure Big Whoop which had originally belonged to her grandfather. Threepwood was caught making off with the map during a Mardi Gras party by her gardener and Guybrush Jr. Unaware of the real reason for his arrival, Elaine assumed he had come to apologise to her. Threepwood attempted to get on her good side, and Elaine almost took him back saying that "there's something about your weakness and ineptitude that I find infectious". But when his intention of taking the map was revealed and that his kind words were mostly a means to an end, she became infuriated and flung the map piece out of her window letting it blow away in the wind. Threepwood immediately took chase after it.
Threepwood eventually became trapped at the site of Big Whoop, dangling from a rope with the treasure in one hand after he had used dynamite to blast a hole in the ground. The explosion was so powerful and loud that Elaine heard it from her mansion on Booty Island. She immediately recognised that the sound had come from the direction of Dinky Island and deduced that Threepwood must have gone after her grandfathers treasure.
Elaine immediately set out to rescue him and found him in his predicament. Curious as to what happened she asked him to tell the story. Threepwood explained the entire series of events leading up to her arrival starting from his visit to Scabb Island, going through the resurrection of LeChuck and his own search for Big Whoop all the while hanging in the pit. Unfortunately as his story ended Guybrush's rope snapped and he fell into the chasm, where Elaine was unable to follow.
Threepwood was confronted by the Zombie Pirate LeChuck in the tunnels below the island and ultimately trapped in the Carnival of the Damned in the form of a child. While Threepwood wonders if this is his true reality, Elaine is left on Dinky Island worrying that LeChuck had placed a curse on him.
When his forces had grown strong enough, LeChuck led an attack on Plunder Island, in his new flagship The Death Starfish bringing with him a large number of undead pirates. He intended to capture the island and more importantly take Elaine as his undead bride. He had brought a voodoo cannonball with which he intended to simulatenously kill Elaine and ressurect her as a zombie like himself, thus forcing her to accept him as the only other person in a similar condition.
Shouting across the battlefield, Elaine responded to LeChuck by describing him as an "evil, foul-smelling, vile, co-dependent villain and that's just not what I'm looking for in a romantic relationship right now". She added that he had robbed her of the only man she had ever loved: Guybrush Threepwood.
Unknown to either of them, Threepwood had managed to escape the Carnival and had coincidentally floated into the battle scene on a dodgem, hearing every spoken word. When LeChuck did notice Threepwoods arrival, he had him thrown below deck to be dealt with later.
While the battle continued, Elaine had no idea of what had happened to Guybrush after his capture. In the meantime, Threepwood was both able to escape from the ships hold and accidentally destroys LeChuck.
Elaine met with Threepwood on the shore at the foot of the fort where he proposed to her using a ring that he had found and looted from LeChuck's hold. Unbeknownst to him, the ring had been imbued with a curse designed to transform the user into solid gold. Wally B. Feed arrived on the beach just as Threepwood placed the ring on her finger and noted that he recognised it.
Elaine was furious that Guybrush had given her a cursed ring and as she pulled back her fist to throw a punch, she was transformed into a golden statue.
Threepwood immediately set about trying to find a cure for the curse he had inflicted on his fiance. In the meantime, she was stolen by the Pirates of Danjer Cove and hidden away. Threepwood recovered her, got together a ship and a crew and set off.
Threepwoods journey took him to Blood Island aboard The Sea Cucumber where he was to find a ring of equal value with which to replace the cursed one. On arrival, the ship was wrecked by a storm and the golden Elaine was flung inland, where Threepwood found her in a wooded area.
Threepwood eventually managed to find a replacement non cursed ring and return Elaine to her normal human form at which point she was able to follow through with her punch and knock him to the ground.
While she was disorientated and confused in her strange surroundings, Threepwood was able to tell her that he had saved her from her curse and brought her to Blood Island.
Their reunion was cut short when it was discovered that LeChuck had not been destroyed. Rather he had survived as a more powerful demon pirate and sent his minions to kidnap Threepwood and Marley once more.
They were taken to the Carnival of the Damned where LeChuck intended to use the power of Big Whoop to make Elaine his bride. In the meantime he transformed Threepwood into a child again.
After LeChucks fourth destruction Elaine and Guybrush returned to Blood Island where they got married and set off on honeymoon.
Pronounced Dead and the Ultimate Insult
Elaine and Guybrush returned to Mêlée Island after a three month honeymoon and were aghast to discover that Elaine had been legally declared dead. As a direct consequence any gubernatorial powers she was in possession of had been put up for election.
A candidate by the name of Charles L. Charles had put himself in the running to become the new Governor of Mêlée Island, marking the first time that Elaine was forced to run a campaign to defend her title.
After the Threepwoods had gone about having Elaine legally recognised as alive and stopped a demolition man from tearing down their mansion, Charles revealed that he was actually LeChuck.
Her attempts to alert the citizens of The Tri-Island Area of Charles true nature are a failure, boosted by their feeling neglected after Elaine's long absence. LeChuck in the meantime offers the people 'Good times and free grog' winning himself much support from the voters.
After struggling to win back votes from a won-over crowd, Elaine was defeated in the election by LeChuck who then took up residence in her mansion.
Threepwood, who had been away collecting pieces of the Ultimate Insult, returned to the island to find LeChuck and Ozzie Mandrill in his home. He was immediately captured and taken to be marooned on Monkey Island. In the meantime Elaine did her best to stay out of harms way.
Whilst marooned, Threepwood discovered that the resident hermit Herman Toothrot was actually Horatio Marley, Elaine's long thought dead grandfather. The two escaped Monkey Island with the help of monkey prince Jojo Jr. in a Giant Monkey Robot and returned to Mêlée Island.
On their return they confronted LeChuck armed with their giant Ultimate Insult and defeated LeChuck and Mandrill, rescuing Elaine in the process.
Tired with the pressure of running a group of islands, Elaine asked Horatio Marley to take over her position as Governor of the Tri-Island Area, which he was happy to accept.
Adventures as a Married Couple
Several years passed and the Marley-Threepwoods were free to go on many adventures while Horatio Marley took care of running the Tri-Island Area. It is unknown exactly what happened during this time, however a few facts are known.
Threepwood sank Elaine's mother's schooner, prompting Elaine to jettison all of Threepwood's cannon's ammo to prevent anything like that happening again. She also took his gunpowder for use on her own ship.
LeChuck somehow was once more resurrected and the Marley-Threepwoods set about trying to discover a way to permanently destroy him. They learned of the Cursed Cutlass of Kaflu and made it their priority to forge it and use it. It required a number of artifacts they had dealt with before but destroyed in the process. At some time in their adventures they were forced to go seperate ways while Threepwood continued hunting for the necessary voodoo artifacts. During her time alone she had a troubling encounter with an enchanted aardvark.
The Pox of LeChuck
LeChuck hatched another plan to make Elaine his wife. He hijacked Elaines ship and took her captive. For the first time she truly relied on Guybrush to rescue her. Tied to the ships mast, Elaine was powerless to stop LeChuck from carrying out his plans to sacrifice the Monkeys of Montevideo and take ultimate power over the seas themselves.
Events separated Guybrush and Elaine, forcing her to join forces with LeChuck, who seemed to have changed his ways. Elaine befriended the now-seemingly-unmalicious LeChuck, assisting him in returning his monkeys back to their homes.
Elaine also attempted to arbitrate between merpeople to gain access to a cure for the pox and the infected pirates. Unfortunately, her attempt resulted in failure as negotiations broke down and Elaine decided it to participate in the battle around the Jerkbait Islands.
However, she lost control after becoming infected with the pox, and traveled to Flotsam Island to sack the town and kill Morgan LeFlay, a bounty hunter and a potential rival for Guybrush's love. Ironically, she began to behave as violent and amorous toward Guybrush as LeChuck behaved around her.
Eventually, Guybrush managed to find a cure for Elaine's pox, but LeChuck turned on him and fatally stabbed him, revealing that he had only acted as their ally for his own needs.
Elaine cradled the poor pirate as he died in her arms. LeChuck took Elaine captive once more and attempted to convince her to join him as his demon bride. For a time Elaine seemed willing to accept this destiny although his attempt was yet another failure as she submitted to LeChuck only to acquire the voodoo cutlass with the capabilities of destroying him.
Guybrush returned as a ghost and manouevred LeChuck into a position where they could trap him halfway between the living world and the afterlife. This allowed Elaine to attack his physical form with the cutlass, while he simultaneously destroyed his spirit.
With LeChuck finally defeated, Guybrush restored himself to life using a spell with Elaine's wedding ring and returned to Elaine.
Guybrush's Pet Names
Guybrush Threepwood and Elaine Marley had a number of pet names for each other during their off/on romance.
- Love Muffin
- Honey Pumpkin
- Sugar Boots
- Plunder Bunny
- Beautiful Buttercup
Before the quest for Big Whoop, Elaine had a part time career as an author. She wrote a number of romantic novels under the pen-name Melanie Leary - an anagram of her name.
- Amour's Agonizing Adieu
- Desire's Distasteful Denouement
- Fascination's Final Frenzy
- Love's Lingering Lassitude
- Passion's Persistent Presence
- Romance's Wretched Residue
- Sin's Sordid Swan Song
- Yearning's Yellow Yesterdays
She also wrote a non-fiction book under her own name about her time with Guybrush Threepwood.
Next to Nothing by Elaine Marley.
- Elaine was originally only known simply as 'The Governor' until a gag was inserted into the scene in which Guybrush crashes her wedding to LeChuck in SoMI. Guybrush could yell 'Elaine!' as a reference to the movie 'The Graduate'. Ron Gilbert liked the name so it was adopted for the character permanently.
- In original designs for SoMI, Elaine was a lot more ruthless, but the decision was made to soften her up and make her a love interest.
- It is possible to miss the scene in which Elaine meets Guybrush on the docks after Shinetop attempts to drown him. If thievery is the last of the three trials completed, Threepwood will instead see LeChucks ghost ship sailing away with her on board.
- The original idea for the curse in CoMI was that Elaine would be transformed into a wooden figurehead.
- Elaine was set to appear in The Curse of Monkey Island film as the captain of an Anti-Pirate Armada. This would have been a break from her in-game character as a relatively pirate-friendly governor.
- Elaine's original close-up portrait in The Secret of Monkey Island was modelled after LucasArts artist Avril Harrison. However, creator Ron Gilbert felt at the time that these portraits did not match the art style of the rest of the game.
- After his supposed revelation with Voodoo Lady, Elaine no longer trusts the issue of voodoo and the origin of the confrontation between LeChuck and Guybrush during the course of the game.
- Elaine Marley on Wikipedia